You Are Not Enough (& More May Reads)

May Reads

I finished eight books in the month of May, including Allie Beth Stuckey’s You Are Not Enough (and Why That’s Okay). Below are my impressions of each title, in the order I read them.

The 8 Books I read in May:

Three titles from The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander

The Book of ThreeI finished the first three books of The Chronicles of Prydain last month: The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, and The Castle of Llyr, all by the masterful storyteller, Lloyd Alexander.

Taran is an assistant pig keeper who longs for adventure, excitement, and an opportunity to prove himself. This series follows him through various trials, tribulations, and tortuous journeys that serve to slowly dshape him into the hero he aspires to be, but at a far greater cost than he anticipated as a youth.

These books were my husband’s favorite as a child. I made the huge mistake of trying to send the whole set to Goodwill when we were newly married, because I thought a couple of the book covers looked creepy. Fortunately, I asked before donating them, and he said he not only wanted to keep them, but would read them aloud to the family beginning that very day.

Short story: Now they are among the rest of our favorites, too, although we did eventually replace his old, dogeared copies with a newer set featuring much prettier covers. My son and grandson were hogging our hard copies, so I listened to the audiobooks.

Finding the Hero in Your Husband by Juli Slatery

Finding the Hero in Your HusbandI read Juli Slattery’s bestselling Finding the Hero in Your Husband nearly twenty years ago, and thought it was great.

But after learning that the author had recently updated the manuscript, I decided to get a copy of the revised version on Audible.

It was well worth the re-listen.

Slattery provides time-tested tips on a wide range of topics: improving communication, handling conflict, cultivating intimacy, etc.

Her biblical encouragement will help you view your husband with fresh eyes and will deepen your appreciation for all his best qualities.

Bonus: If you read the book, take its message to heart, and consistently apply the principles discussed, it may deepen your husband’s appreciation for you, as well. 😊

On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder

On the Banks of Plum CreekWe listened to Laura Ingall’s Wilder’s On the Banks of Plum Creek on our way to visit another one of Laura’s old homes last month.

Sadly, it wasn’t until we got to DeSmet, South Dakota, that we realized we’d driven right past two more of the homesteads mentioned in the Little House books, including the Ingall’s home on Plum Creek!

Nevertheless, we thoroughly enjoyed this third installment in the series, which chronicles the time Laura and her family spent living in a tidy little dugout they bought from a Swedish man who was moving further west. The house was built right in the bank of a creek using sod for the walls and a thatched roof that was covered with prairie grass, so you could be standing right on top without ever realizing it!

We finished the book before visiting Laura’s home in Independence, Kansas, a little bit later on the same road trip.

The Men We Need by Brant Hanson (second time aloud with boys)

The Men We NeedI read Brant Hanson’s The Men We Need last year after hearing my daughter rave about it for weeks. Agreeing that it contains both a timely and important message, I began a second read-through immediately upon finishing the first — this time with my sons.

Hanson addresses many of the character qualities their father and I long to see developed in them —- loyalty, contentment, self-control, a strong work ethic. Not surprisingly, they enjoy Hanson’s writing style as much as I do.

The author is both funny and articulate, with a self-effacing humor that comes across as utterly charming. Also, he manages to work a wonderfully fitting Lord of the Rings reference into every chapter — a personal goal for the book, he admits toward the end — without any of them seeming forced or contrived.

Barking up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker

Barking up the Wrong TreeEric Barker’s Barking Up the Wrong Tree is one of the best new books I’ve read all year.

Subtitled “The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success is (Mostly) Wrong, it is does reference a lot of scientific studies.

The surprising thing about the book is not that many common beliefs about success are, in fact, wrong, but that curious scientists took the time to test the mistaken theories and report on their findings. Barker does an amazing job gathering all the pertinent results of such studies and stitching them together into a fascinating and beautifully easy-to-follow book.

Our family listened to it on the road last month. This undertaking took much longer to finish it than it should have, but only because we were compelled to stop the recording every few paragraphs to discuss and expand upon what we were learning. The book is bursting with great food for thought! For more on one of those discussions, check out my post Stories Matter at Loving Life at Home.

You are Not Enough by Allie Beth Stuckey

You are Not EnoughAllie Beth Stuckey’s You’re Not Enough (and That’s Okay) first caught my eye because the title echoes an article I wrote several years back: I’m Not Enough (and Why It’s Liberating to Admit It). Of course, at 208 pages in length, the book goes into greater detail than the blog post in exposing why modern affirmations touting self-sufficiency, self-love, self-determination, and self-actualization drastically miss the mark.

I’ve enjoyed reading this fresh perspective from a writer who freely admits having bought into myths like “You are enough” when she was younger, but who eventually came to realize just how false and how hollow such platitudes actually are.

Make Time for Reading

Do you love to read as much as we do? I’ve gathered all my best resources for bibliophiles into this post, or you can read more of my book reviews by following this link

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